The 1st Budayaw: 2017 Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines—East-Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Festival on Culture and Arts, a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary festival of arts and culture of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the EAGA will take place in General Santos City and Sarangani Province from September 28 to October 3.
With the theme “Taking Pride in the Creative Diversity of the BIMP-EAGA Region,” the festival will showcase the diversity of creative expressions of the region. The five-day fest shall gather around 300 contemporary artists and indigenous cultural masters whose works will be simultaneously showcased in various venues in Mindanao particularly in General Santos City and in the Province of Sarangani.
The Budayaw Festival will be held every two years rotating in the four member countries. The Philippines was suggested to launch the Festival in 2017 in time with the 50th anniversary of the Asean, which the country is also hosting.
BIMP-EAGA was established in 1994 to address the social and economic development of the less developed and remote territories in the eastern side of BIMP. The focus areas include the following: the entire sultanate of Brunei Darussalam; the provinces of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and West Papua of Indonesia; the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan in Malaysia; and Mindanao and the province of Palawan in the Philippines.
To streamline the strategic focus of the BIMP-EAGA, four pillars were agreed upon by the leaders of the four countries: Enhancing connectivity, Establishing BIMP-EAGA as food basket for Asean, Promoting BIMP-EAGA as regional tourism destination and Ensuring sustainable management of the Environment.
In 2012, during the 10th BIMP-EAGA Summit, the leaders expressed that social and cultural activities can contribute in laying the foundation for greater understanding among the diverse communities within the sub-region. Thus, in 2014, the Socio-cultural and Education Pillar (SCE) was formally added.
For the years 2015 to 2025, the Philippines, working as Chairman of the Socio-cultural Development Working Group, has committed to implement three projects: An Inventory of Artists and Cultural Organization in the region, an Exhibit of Textiles from BIMP-EAGA and the 2017 Budayaw Festival.